EXCLUSIVE: Baby Gabriel’s Mom Speaks Out

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All three of the women who call themselves Gabriel McFarland's mom are speaking out.

The four-month-old boy died Tuesday after his mother found him alone in her apartment.

Watch the adoptive parents’ response

Gabriel McFarland’s room is a sad place now. His crib is empty and his toys and clothes are already packed up in a box.

“It’s like every time I come home it’s just really sad.”

Gabriel’s mother Markeya Atkins found him unresponsive when she returned home Tuesday evening.

Gabriel McFarland“He has a blanket over him and was turning blue and he had stuff on his mouth,” Atkins recounted in an interview with Channel 13. “I just started crying… I just started screaming and I started patting his back so I can wake him up.”

Atkins says it was the first time she’d left her baby alone with his father, Drew Weehler- Smith who is now charged with child neglect.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams this would happen,” the 16-year-old said.

Gabriel had only been living with Markeya for a little more than a month.  He spent his first three months of life with adoptive parents, Rachel and Heidi McFarland.

When she found out she was pregnant, about five months along, Atkins says she knew she wasn’t grown up enough to raise Gabriel.

“I just thought - the rest of my life - am I really ready to give away the rest of my life for someone.  And I just felt like it was the best way to go about it.”

But in mid-February, Atkins started to have second thoughts.

“I went to Rachel’s house one day and I was just sitting there holding the baby and then Rachel looked at the baby, like he was in my arms and Rachel looked at the baby straight in the face and said ‘mommy’s here and gave him a kiss on his forehead.’ So after sitting in there and thinking about it I just passed her the baby and I just stormed out,” Atkins says.

“It really hurt my feelings because my mom was not there when I made the baby.”

Atkins says she felt belittled and used. She made a list of the pros and cons of getting Gabriel back.

“I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything that could go wrong with getting him back.”

Being a 16-year-old, single parent without a job or a high school degree didn’t make her think twice about her decision.

“When you have a baby it’s like this instinct comes on where a part of you just feels like you have something left in this world.”

But Gabriel is no longer part of Atkins’ world or the McFarlands’ world – a fact that seems to be lost on his birth mother.

When told Heidi and Rachel said they hope this is a wake-up call, Atkins responded, “I hope it’s a wake-up call for them.” Adding, “They have no right to talk to me about that. I did absolutely nothing wrong. I took care of him.”

“They can’t say they were better mothers than me, because that’s not the case … they’re trying to make it seem like I just snatched him out of their hands… it’s like they just let go and didn’t care anymore and now they care so much.”

Adoptive parents are angry with their attorney

Atkins eventually stormed out of the interview and told us to leave.


  • RoccoB

    What a loser and always will be.
    Bet you a grand shes preggo in 6 months and still on the public dole the rest of her life.

    • aFellow

      I’ll second that bet. She’ll be pregnant again soon and will expect the system to give her a free ride, which it will. You and I will be punished for making good decisions and will be forced to pay her way. I’d also be willing to bet she’s only shed a tear for this baby when someone was there to watch. I doubt she’s losing any sleep over it. She has absolutely no concept of reality and what it means to be a mother.

      “They can’t say they were better mothers than me, because that’s not the case … they’re trying to make it seem like I just snatched him out of their hands… it’s like they just let go and didn’t care anymore and now they care so much.”

      My lord, will someone slap her? Yes, they were, are, and will be again better mothers than you. People who spend 10’s of thousands of dollars to adopt do actually care. And yes, you did snatch him out of their hands. Yes, now they care so much, as they always did, and more so because you, Markeya, do not seem to care at all. I’m glad they will always love and remember this child, because I’m certain you will not.

      This Drew character is also a worthless individual, and a disgrace to mankind. Too bad he’ll only be in jail for a few years. I guarantee he won’t lose a minute of sleep thinking about this innocent little baby.

      Wow, I’m angry. I could go on and on. Too bad absolutely nothing will change…

    • Kimberly Marshall

      I did not know that you are God. How easy for you to sit in judgement. You are looking at opinions rather than facts. This news story does not speak to the father who left his child alone. He is responsible for that babies death. Why are they not questioning him about this incident. He was released and sent home to his parents. These women tried to buy this baby from the mother. After being told that she would never be allowed to see him again, the courts gave the baby back to her. Mason King’s Mother. Lets stick to the facts!

      • Kathy

        I’ve seen your comments so far and it’s quite obvious that you are HER, a friend, or another self-righteous, self-centered product of the current “It’s All About MEEE” generation.
        Her feelings were hurt when this child’s MOTHER got home and let him know she was there? Yup, in YOUR mind “hurt feelings” are a good reason to tear an infant away from the only family he has ever known.
        Oh, and WHY was that his family? Because THIS dumb TWAT didn’t want to give her own life up for the PERSON she created- That’s HER (you’re?) words on video here, not mine!
        CLUE= YOU are so lucky to have a chance to GROW UP.

      • snice37

        Haven’t you ever noticed they only mention the mother? Adam Lanza walks into an elementary school…they blame the mother (not that she wasn’t without fault) But, I want people to start asking “Where was the father?” In this case, while the 16 year old made some very bad decisions…she didn’t kill the baby.

      • cprnmo

        You are so full of it. They NEVER told her that she would not be able to see the baby. She got jealous because she was not being spoiled and pampered like she thought she would be. Once their attention turned to Gabriel, she got upset and threw a fit. She didn’t even want him, she just wanted all of the attention and things that went along with him, including money and gifts. Also, I can’t believe that she is whining that they didn’t offer to provide for Gabriel once she took him back. Why the hell would they? SHE took him away from his loving, safe, nurturing home without a thought as to how she was going to provide for him. How is that their fault? Idiots. While I’m sad that he died, he is probably far better off where he is now, away from a selfish, immature, neglectful family.

      • Megan

        She decided she wanted him back only after they stopped giving her money and attention as she clearly stated. She should have been selfless and realized that Gabriel was in a good and loving home and that Rachel and Heidi would give him a great life.

  • Teens - STOP having babies!

    I don’t get her feelings were hurt because her mom was not there when she made this baby?? I assume that’s just her lack of education coming through and she isn’t making sense.

    ‘Making a baby’ is easy for most people, raising a child is darned hard.
    Teens need to stop having babies! It’s easy, it’s called Abstinence. Abstinence is free so no one can complain that they can’t afford it.

    There is no reason that a 15 year old girl should be climbing in to bed with anyone! It’s not a mark of how ‘cool’ you are to sleep with someone, it’s a mark of how careless you are.

  • digusted

    wow. makes me sick. please somebody do something to ensure this human being never procreates again.

  • Renee

    That poor baby had a stable home for a few months, and then was yanked away by this selfish bratty kid who will never amount to anything. Sick and sad.

  • small town farmer

    The mother has her nails done, apartment decorated cute, etc. but she has no job and no diploma, who is paying??

    • RoccoB

      She was shaking down the lesbian couple for everything.
      More than likely they ponied up the apartment, food, clothes, nail salon…..cable TV.
      Look for her to try this scam in 6 months when shes preggo again.
      Bet on it.

      • Kimberly Marshall

        Once again Rocco you only seem to have your very stupid opinion abut the facts. The couple did not pay for a thing in her apartment. She got the apartment after she took her child back. She lived with her parents who are married and both work. So there you have no facts. Where is your out rage at the 17 year old father who left his child alone? Is he a loser too? He did not even stand by his child and help take care of the him. He left it up to Markeya. The lesbian couple has nothing to do with this. The state allowed Markeya investigated her and deemed her fit. So go argue with them. That couple wants money, and is advertising all over so they can sue their lawyer and the state. It won’t work. They did not lift a finger to help Markeya with “their” so called baby. Lies, Lies Lies. They didn’t give a damn once he went home with his Mother. Kick Rocks…all of you who do not know what you are talking about.

    • Sick of lazy people

      I saw the same thing. Nice nails and apartment! She should never be able to have another child since she does not have sense enough to care for the innocent child. She should be held liable! What the hell is wrong with people. Free ride needs to be over. Like the saying goes “If you are old enough to play you need to PAY!!!! What a waste in humans!!

      • Lexi West

        oh ya my friend helped her out he is the one who is hurting now.He feels guilty about everything.He says she is very nice young lady Just has no help but him.I told him he can.t just keep helping her.I know him he will not quit.He is to good to everyone.She will keep using him but he will not quit .Maybe she might change her life .I hope so He is amazing man who any woman would love to have in there life.
        She better not be having sex at her age at all .
        She needs to get a job or move back home where she should be.

  • momoftwo

    I can’t help but think all this girl saw in that baby was a dollar sign. A free ride. Government assistance. Free education. Free food. Free housing. It’s terrible to think that way, but she said herself she wasn’t ready, and it wasn’t until the adoptive mother “made her angry & hurt her feelings” that she wanted the baby back. For what? To prove a point? Well, point proven. An innocent life is gone. And to say “my mom wasn’t there when the baby was made” – well, therein lies your problem dear, because had she been around, and stepped up to be a real mother to her, I’m pretty sure none of this would even be an issue. Maybe not. Keep storming out of peoples’ homes and interviews – makes you look really mature & really says a lot about your character… Welcome to the broken system that will never be corrected because of people like this. Maddening.

    • Kelly Brandt

      I so agree with you!!! Our system is terribly broken and an innocent baby is once again the victim. The mother wanted the baby because she and her b/f wanted to move in together and this was the only way to do it financially. She and her mom weren’t close at all, and if you could see her Facebook page, you would see just how much intelligence is in her entire family. Such a tragedy!!!

    • Lexi West

      wrong I know that facts but she has made many mistakes here.But she really loved her baby.Did not want the free help from government at least

  • disgusted

    a 16 year old with no job or education is definitely to young to raise a baby, and who knows if they baby would have been better off with its adoptive parents or her in the long run. My question is why is the news station so willing and eager to make this a petty dispute between two sets of loving parents and not about why the 17 year old father of the boy murdered the boy?

  • Teen Mothers

    I think some of yahl should really feel ashamed of yourself. I don’t think the situation was right but no one has the right to talk negatively about this young girl. I had my first kid at 15 and I’m doing way better then some older woman my age. How can yahl even open your mouth to keep bashing her. What does that say about your character. Why do you 40,50,60 year old people feel right to talk about a 16 year old. That’s really pathetic. No one knows what happened so don’t speak on it. I’m praying for all three women that was involved and the child’s life and I’m praying for all you pathetic people trying to make the mother look bad. To the father we honestly don’t know what happened there it seems fishy but not my place to speak until more information is found out.

  • QJ

    She wasn’t around when the baby died, she went to handle business and left him with his father. She carried him for 9 months, she pushed him out, that is her child that was given to her by The Lord. I believe that it was a beautiful thing for her maternal instinct to kick in and for her to want her child back. She was stepping up to the plate and being responsible. If they believe they’re better parents let’s see them create one.

    • Lexi West

      She did try .Yes she did make mistakes here she is paying for them now.But do you think maybe someone could have been there to support her ??? She is good person i think .We all make mistakes i know that .Trust me Do not judge her try to lead her in the right direction.

  • Lexi West

    I will not give you any information but none of you really know the facts of her getting this kid.She would have been a great mother.She was to young.But her parents should have helped her.So should have the fathers family not the one and only person that did,.She is 16 years old trying her best to be a good mother.
    She was to young but maybe someone should really think about who all is responsible for this.To late now a nice little boy is not here anymore.
    We can blame a lot of people but its to late now.I could say so many things here .
    Don’t you think you should ask her parents and his some questions.
    I did not want to even post this but I had too.Because when someone has a kid that young this should not happen.

  • Alex Snodgrass

    This horrible incident has shocked and saddened me, beyond what I thought possible.

    16 years old
    Birth Mother, who has to eventually come to terms with the death of her child.
    17 years old
    Father, making a bad decision resulting in the death of his child, and possible the rest of his life behind bars.
    16 years old
    Friend that had to perform CPR on a dead 4 month old.
    4 Month Old Baby. A new child to this world thirsty to learn, and innocent.

    Than I look and see words like “What a Loser” “worthless individual” “government abuser” and other horrible and hateful words. As I enter the classroom tomorrow, I will see students that are 15, 16,17, and then I will think about a 16 year old mother holding her dead child. A 17 year boy living behind bars for the rest of his life, and adorable baby now dead.

    These children live in very complicated and difficult world, sometime all it takes is a little compassion, somebody to listen to them, someone to push them, someone to believe in them. Then I will think about words like “Loser” “worthless individual” and I will smile and teach. Maybe it will do nothing, but I urge any person reading this, to think, really think before spreading more hateful words in an already horrific incident.

    Education, compassion, respect is the way to help “fix the system.”

  • CMoore

    All of you saying what a great mom she was are you forgetting she left her son with a 17 year old she knew was a drug addict? Yeah, real loving mom right there.
    Are you telling us she isn’t on Medicaid, food stamps, wic etc? She was just buying all that stuff herself?

    She knew she made a horrible choice leaving Drew with that baby but obviously she had more important things to do.

    And to those idiots that suggest the couple adopted the baby in order to sue an attorney for money you sound so ignorant. Do you know what it’s like to go through the adoption process? To want a family so badly. They wanted to give that child a happy and healthy future. And this young mother chose to put that sweet baby in Drew Smiths care knowing full well it was an unsafe situation

    • Susan

      She has parents. That could be helping her out. And yes mothers sometimes have to do things that they can’t bring infants to. Would you prefer she sits at home on medicaid, wic and food stamps rather than get a job or go to school to try to better her life?

      As to Drew Smith where does it say he was a drug addict? Unless this is documented. Unless he had abused a child before most women don’t assume that fathers and other men suck at child rearing and should be excluded from ever touching their children.
      She doesn’t have psychic powers or a time machine. She didn’t know his legal and biological father was a waste of space.

      I feel bad that the adoptive women for whatever reason can’t have kids but it is standard for adoptive parents to be able to change their minds within a certain time. They should have known this. Sorry your uterus doesn’t work or you can’t find a man to give up his seed but thats the way the cookie crumbles.

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